07 Feb Why Card Terminals are Essential for Small Businesses in Ireland
If you run a small business in Ireland there are a number of factors you need to take into consideration. Taxes, pricing, marketing, business premises, and, of course, what you are going to sell are all hugely important things to think about when you are just starting out, and when you are more established they still can’t be forgotten.
Something that might easily be forgotten in the excitement of running a business are card terminals. Credit card terminals help grow your business as customers see their debit and credit card as a secure and easy way to pay for goods and services and as a result carry around less cash with them.
What Are Merchant Services?
Credit card processing as you might want to use in your business can also be called merchant services. In its simplest terms, this is the way that electronic payment is handled for each merchant.
This method of payment is related to some of the earliest forms of credit that were ever available. Someone would enter a shop and, if they were known to the storekeeper and they had no cash on them, they could ask for their goods to be put on their credit account. The storekeeper would make a note (assuming they still had some credit to use, of course), and request payment at a later date. The only problem with this scenario was when the storekeeper didn’t know the person who wanted credit for their goods. They might not be good for the money, or they might simply be passing through and would never actually pay. The storekeeper wouldn’t really be able to offer store credit, and the stranger, if they had no money of them, would have to leave with nothing.
This means the storekeeper missed out on a sale, and this caused problems. Then, in 1946, a new invention came to the world’s attention – the very first credit card. Known as the Charg-It card, created by John Biggons, this meant that storekeepers could offer credit to strangers, and sell more. The merchant would take all the credit slips obtained during the day (which included unique numbers that related to each customer) and swap them for cash at the bank. The bank would then write to their customers for the money. As the world evolved, credit became a little more technical, but generally no different in how it was used.
By 1959, the system was being used much more readily, with one new addition – ‘revolving credit’ was introduced. This meant that those owing the bank could either pay their entire debt or just a small part of it. And thus, the credit card as we more generally know it today was born. The only problem was that each bank had their own system, and people had to have many different cards in order to make purchases. In the 1960s card associations were created, which meant that one card was all that anyone needed as the banks all worked together.
There are a number of different credit card machines available, and there is sure to be one that suits your business. The key thing to do is to research each one properly, ensuring that you know the pros and cons of the individual machines before you make a decision. To save you a little time, here are some of the main differences between each type of unit:
The countertop credit card machine is probably the one that is most well known. It’s certainly something you will have come across in almost every shop and business you have bought from recently. It’s one of the most popular types of credit card machines and is used everywhere from large department stores to smaller independent shops along the high street.
The great thing about the countertop unit is that it can be used no matter what business you are in – a café, a retailer, a clinic or beauty parlour, and everywhere else besides – and it all works in the same way. Having a countertop credit card machine means that you can take payments without hassle right at the counter where you are printing off receipts, giving your business a professional, sleek look and feel.
Not only that but because these machines are in one place and don’t need to be moved, they tend to be fast – they are plugged right into your office or retail space’s phone line, keeping them secure and available for use whenever they are needed.
As the name suggests, a portable credit card machine is one that you can move around – it’s ideal for a restaurant, for example, where waiting staff need to bring the terminal to their customers’ tables so that they can pay. A portable credit card machine is one that stays in (or relatively near, such as a terrace or balcony) one building but that can be moved around within it.
One of the major plus points of a portable card machine is that the battery is really long lasting. With just one charge, they can be used all day (and into the night), so you’ll never have to tell your customers they can’t pay just because you are having to charge the credit card machines up. Not only that, but they are compact and reasonably lightweight, making them easy to carry for anyone who needs to use one.
The mobile credit card machine is the newest one available, and it is ideal for those businesses that visit people in their own homes, for example. For taxi drivers and tradespeople, having a mobile credit card machine is a way to make the customer experience a better one (no one has to have cash on them in order to pay), and it saves anyone – customer or seller – from worrying about the transaction and how best to do it.
As an additional benefit, it also gives your business an air of trustworthiness. Paying cash, no matter how honest you are to revenue about how much you get, is never quite as professional looking as being able to take cards.
These machines are easy to use and work off of their own GPRS SIM which is built into them, ensuring great coverage every time. The battery is long lasting, and the machine itself is kept in a robust case, so even when it sits in a tool bag all day, it still works exactly as it is meant to.
The Safety of Card Terminals
Something that can put business owners off using a credit card machine is the safety – security – aspect of it. The use of cash we never cease completely but many consumers prefer paying with their cards than with cash. Cards are safer for consumers to carry around. Paying with cards doesn’t require customers to carry around a large amount of cash with them.
The extra protection banks have in places to help customers protect their cards in the event it gets lost or stolen is another benefit.
How Much Does A Card Machine Cost?
The cost of a credit card machine will vary from supplier to supplier, so you can take your time to look around and determine which is going to fit with your budget and still give you all the coverage and usage that you need. BOIPA prides inside in informing customers that there are no hidden fees associated with our credit card terminals. Our prices start from €42.